The tender for the sale of assets belonging to the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) has been pushed back for a fifth time amidst interest from Israel's Plasan that has taken on particular importance due to the recent visit to Israel by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The sales process, which was postponed to July 13, according to Business Daily's sources, is expected to acquire a new August deadline to facilitate the Israeli investors who are forced to go into quarantine when returning from trips abroad in a national policy that runs until the end of July. A policy that does not allow officials from Plasan to visit ELVO's facilities.
The importance given by the government and EY, which is acting as special liquidator to the state-owned company, to Israel's Plasan and the step to help facilitate its mission, is justified due to the strength of the Israeli interest and the business plan announced during the government trip.
Plasan's business plan includes an extension to ELVO's construction of modern electronic warfare systems, in investments that could reach up to one billion euros. The new systems would be available in Greece, Israel, or other interested parties based on agreements.
Given that the way the tender is structured takes into account not only the price offered but also the scope and viability of the investment plan, the Israelis now seem to be gaining a clear lead in the process.
As part of the business plan, Plasan Sasa, a vehicle manufacturer, may hook up with other Israeli companies on the ELVO deal that have know-how in electronic systems, such as Elbit Systems or Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
Seven investors had initially shown informal interest in ELVO, which include, among others, Italy's Ferrovie dello Stato (whose group also includes TRAINOSE), the German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (Intracom Group KMW), and South Africa's Paramount Group, India's Tata Group and Poland's Solaris. Of course, it remains to be seen who will submit a binding bid as both the German and the Italian participation, as well as that of the Tata Group, provide significant competition to the Israelis.
As part of the tender, real estate, building facilities at the Sindos Industrial Zone, equipment and intellectual and industrial property rights will be sold off. The Greek state is expected to retain the right of acquiring 21 percent of ELVO after three years.
ELVO has been under special management since 2014 with accumulated losses of 170.3 million euros and 85.4 million euros of total liabilities. The company was founded in 1972 as Stagier Hellas to produce and sell trucks, agricultural tractors, and engines.
In 1986, the participation of the Austrians was transferred to the Greek State. In 2000, the Mytileneos group acquired, through an international tender, 43 percent of its shares and management, and pulled out of the company in 2010.